Christian Bale is all set to act in a Chinese movie, 'Nanjing Heroes', based on the Nanjing massacre.

The director, Zhang Yimou told The Hollywood Reporter , “ I met Christian in America and was impressed with his serious book research for the role.”

The film’s budget is around $90 million which is roughly equal to Jon Woo’s two part epic ‘Red Cliff’’, billed the most expensive till date in the Asian market
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The story centres around the Japanese massacre of Chinese citizens in Nanjing in 1937. Christian Bale will play the role of an American priest who helps many Chinese escape death.

The film will be shot about 40 per cent in English and the rest in Mandarin Chinese, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The other cast members have not been announced yet.

Zhang has previously made 'Hero' in 2002 starring Jet Li which grossed $54 million in the US. The film was distributed by Sony. It is believed that Sony is not involved with Zhang’s present project.

Quizzed about his decision to cast Christian Bale as an attempt to reach a broader English-speaking market , Zhang said, It's the overall strategy for Chinese cinema to approach the world and broaden its influence but casting Bale was a coincidence because the script happened to have an English-speaking part in the lead.

The film’s shooting will begin in January 2011 near Nanjing.